The Secret to a Longer Lasting battery life
There are thousands of theories out there on longer lasting battery life on your laptop and smartphone, but let’s be honest, many of them could not be further from the truth. We’re here to help you distinguish between those old wives tales that you’d be better off to ignore, and those handy tips that could really breathe new life into your battery, every time.
That OH NO moment…
“No, no, no!! This can’t be happening! I charged it just couple of hours ago and I only need five more minutes!” Sound familiar? You’ve been so engrossed in the conference call or the document, presentation or spreadsheet you’ve been working on that it comes as a complete surprise when the dreaded message pops up saying you’ve only got 1% of battery power left. Problem is, you’re traveling and in the rush to catch your train or plain you’ve forgotten your charger. Whatever the case, squeezing a few precious extra minutes out of your battery, or simply making sure it lasts the distance in the first place, can make all the difference when closing a deal or making a crucial deadline. So how to get the most out of your power source?
Turn stuff off
It sounds simplistic, but in order to get the most out of your battery, making sure it only needs to supply power to essential things that you’re currently using is a good place to start. Most laptops have a power saving mode which automatically reduces the consumption of power across a number of areas. Once you’ve taken this easy first step, you can go further by using your device manager to disconnect any peripherals (like a USB mouse or external drive) you aren’t using, and turn off the hungriest power hogs, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, graphics processors, and unused optical drives. Wifi and Bluetooth are some of the greediest processes on smartphones so, if at all possible, turning them off will give you some extra time before your phone dies. If you can work offline on your phone, turning it to flight mode will automatically have the same effect.
One program at a time
Think like a chef. Any chef worth his salt will always keep his workspace clean and tidy, so he’s ready for the next onslaught of orders. Do you really need all of those programs open? Even in the background Skype, Spotify, Dropbox and the like all suck your battery dry. If you’ve finished with it, turn it off. To easily see which programs are running and to turn them off, open your task manager – this will also show you which ones are using the most processing power, a good proxy for battery consumption. Most smartphones also now enable you to view your open apps and turn them off with just a couple of swipes. Location services and push notifications will also place a strain on your battery – so it’s a good idea to turn them off when you’re traveling.
Ok, so you obviously still need to see what’s going on in order to work, but you can save significant power by reducing the amount of lighting required. With laptops start with the keyboard backlighting – unless you really are working in the dark you don’t need it. Next is how bright you need your screen to be. You don’t want to strain your eyes, but turning down the brightness of your screen on both your laptop and smartphone will have a definite impact on how long your battery lasts. Again, it depends on the environment you’re working in. Finally, it’s not just light but sound that can be turned down to save on juice. Listening to music on full blast is a sure fire way to drain your battery. Turning the volume down or muting the speakers entirely means they won’t suck power that could more productively be used for something else.
Tender loving care
The above are all relatively reactive solutions to the problem of battery drain, but there are a few good habits to get into if you want your laptop or smartphone battery to last the distance. If your battery is removable, check to make sure the contacts are clean, because this can reduce the flow of power. A hot battery is an unhappy battery – keeping things cool will extend its life significantly. Make sure the vents and fans are free of dirt and dust, and that air can freely circulate. Using a laptop on a soft surface such as in bed or lying on the sofa can also often obstruct the air circulation. If you use a holder to keep your smartphone from rolling around when using it as a navigation device in your car, make sure it isn’t placed on top of a hot air vent.
Boost your battery and your productivity
Of course the easiest way to make sure you don’t run out of power while on the road is simply to take a spare battery pack with you, but even they run out eventually. So better to follow the tips above for your battery to last the distance – and enjoy being productive on the go.
Sourced: HP Newsletter